Giving the Topotheque a voice: the theater people bring a historical scene into the present. © Thomas Krebs

CH: Gurtenbuehl Topotheque Theatre Tour

New standards in Topotheque were set in Switzerland: in the district of Gurtenbühl in the municipality of Köniz near Bern, on the occasion of the 111th anniversary of the district association “Leist vom Gurtenbühl”, they came up with a number of ideas to present the history of the village and the Topotheque. 12 steles and 4 enamel signs were attached to fences and houses, which were provided with a picture, text and a QR code. This code leads to the website of the list (district) and from there to the Topotheque.

Beyond this signage, as we know it from Maximiliansau in Rhineland-Palatinate, the Topotheque was actually “staged”: a group of young actors was hired to realise the first “Topotheque Theatre Tour”. Under the guidance of Topothequers Thomas Krebs, scenes from historical pictures were acted out. For example, the farewell of a kindergarten teacher who had been given a camel hair blanket after more than 30 years of service was brought to life. A fictional radio reportage in the style of the 1950s brought the soapbox races known for the Gurtenbühl into the present, and the threatening scene about a baker who disregarded the blackout obligation during the war was re-enacted at the real location of the event.

In addition, the inhabitants of the houses were photographed for future generations. The photographs will go into the Topotheque and will also be published as a photo book. Thomas Krebs also initiated a competition to make the details of Gurtenbühl tangible: already at the beginning of the year, he photographed 111 more or less hidden nooks and crannies in the village, which are to be identified in a competition until mid-August. With so much commitment and good ideas, the Topotheque can only be a complete success!